Crack! The sound of a stick breaking over a tree. The same stick that gave me 7 stitches and left a piece of bark stuck in my forehead. It was a summer evening in early July just after my preschool year. My older brother, who had just finished 1st grade, and I were chopping through the jungles of the Amazon, about 4 foot tall weeds in our front yard, with our new machetes: dead sticks from a tree. After just starting our journey, I heard a loud noise come from my brother just next to me.
Suddenly a sharp broken stick hit me just above my left eye after my brother mistakenly hit a tree. Me being the 4 year old at the time just fell to the ground and started bawling. My dad, who was mowing the lawn, saw me on the ground and rushed over to see what had happened. When he saw the broken the stick and the blood running down my face, he picked me up and rushed me inside. All I remember at the time was being set down on the kitchen table and having my mom hold warm wet dish towels over my face.
From there, my parents frantically carried me to the back of my dad’s old 4 runner and drove me to the nearest surgical center. Along the way I remember lying in trunk on my mom’s lap while she said things like “everything’s going to be ok,” probably in an effort to calm themselves down more than anything, and “hurry up” to my dad who was driving.
When I asked my brother what he was doing all of this time, he said “Mom and dad took me over the neighbors and I played connect 4 with them. The whole time I was scared and felt bad because I didn’t know how bad it was.”
Once I arrived at the Surgical Center, my parents immediately brought me to a white room. From here I don’t remember much besides being laid down in a bed and having a needle stuck just above my eye. According to my parents, the surgery took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
When I woke up, I was surprised to see my friend from school, Graham Holley, in the room with me. Apparently his father Dr. Holley was the doctor who gave me stitches and he was just there with him. I remember Graham offering me bite sized Snickers and pies from the nearby pie fridge. I remember saying no thank you to the pies but probably accepted the Snickers he gave me.
The 7 stitches I had were only in for 2 to 3 weeks before I had them removed. One of them was too deep in the skin to be removed and was left to dissolve away in my forehead. I still have the scar just above my left eye and will have it for the rest of my life, unless I choose to have it removed in the future which, as of this moment, I am not planning on happening. It’s barely noticeable unless I point it out and according to my dad it makes me look tough and that’s what girls like.
It may sound weird but looking back on it I am glad I was hit with the stick. It gives me a good story to tell and reminds me of the fun-ish times my brother and I would have when we were younger. It also represents that sometimes things could be going well, when all the sudden something hits you in the face.